The complications of diabetes are real and people are living with them. People are also living in fear of them. Myself included. I am actively trying to overcome this fear because if I do end up with complications I don't want to feel like it is the end of my life. Or that I failed to manage my diabetes well enough. And I certainly don't want to be made to feel that it's my fault.
I don't believe just because I am doing everything in my power to manage my diabetes that I will be spared. I believe that if I have type 1 diabetes I still have the risk of developing complications. I strive to keep that percentage of risk low but it will never be zero.
I will not stop trying!
So, when a friend of mine, who has lived more than 50 years with type 1 diabetes and who lives with a number of the complications of diabetes, comes to our T1D meet ups and people imply she didn't take of herself, I get a little "upset"!
My friend has survived taking care of her diabetes when there was no such thing as a glucose meter! Imagine never know what your blood sugar was?!?
She has survived during a time when the phrase "carb counting" might as well have been a foreign language in Ireland. It didn't exist!
We also did not have Rapid Acting Insulins until the late 1990's. So, even if we did practice carb counting, it wouldn't have been much good to us. Sure, we could do a certain amount of carb counting on the insulins we took only twice a day but we couldn't fine tune it like we can today.
We also did not know that the tighter your diabetes control, the less likely you were to be at risk of getting diabetes complications. This research was only published in 1993 as the DCCT Trials.
93 years ago we died! Today, we have so many tools, technology and instant access to research that people with type 1 diabetes, who have been told for decades what they can't do are breaking all of those barriers.
So I ask you? Is surviving 50 years with type 1 diabetes and living with complications really not taking care of yourself?
My friends who live with diabetes complications may even say themselves, that they didn't do as much as they should have to take care of their diabetes. And I say you did the very best that you, and everybody else, knew how.
I am so lucky and proud to have friends like Deniabetic, who are helping me overcome my fears.